Sir John Mason established cloud microphysics as a coherent scientific discipline, being the first ever Professor of Cloud Physics in the world. His research on the physics of cloud formation and later thunderstorms was pioneering and his texts on ‘Cloud Physics; remain seminal volumes for the community. In 1965 he was appointed Director General of the UK’s Meteorological Office developing it into a leading centre of excellence on the international stage. During his tenure the Meteorological Office developed computer based forecasting and exploited space based observations for weather monitoring. His scientific vision, enthusiasm and inspiring lectures enabled him to recruit good scientists and raise the funds needed to achieve these ends and many of his recruits became leading members of their scientific field and have held prestigious appointments.
He was highly influential within international institutions such as the World Meteorological Organization and was as president of many scientific bodies. He was both treasurer and senior vice-president of the Royal Society during which time he established the now well know Royal Society University Research Fellowships. This was testament to his commitment to support younger researchers and give them the opportunity to establish their research independence. He was also an ‘internationalist’ believing research could and should be conducted collaboratively. It is to foster these beliefs that he requested that a Trust be established to facilitate international research. This is the aim of the Sir John Mason Academic Trust.
Royal Society Biographical Memoir - Sir (Basil) John Mason CB. 18 August 1923 — 6 January 2015 (Keith A. Browning) Click here
The Meteorological Office (1965-83) Reflections by Sir John Mason CB DSc FRS on his time as Director General of the Meteorological Office. Click here
The Independent - Sir John Mason: Physicist who modernised the Meteorological Office and made it an internationally-admired institution. Click here.
The Telegraph - Sir John Mason, meteorologist - obituary. Expert on clouds who transformed the Met Office into a world centre for weather prediction. Click here.
Sir John and Lady Doreen Mason